Joseph Parker, the fighter that beat Andy Ruiz Jr., reacts to Joshua loss
By Kenneth Friedman: Joseph Parker is giving Andy Ruiz Jr. a lot of credit for his victory over Anthony Joshua last Saturday night in New York. At the same time, Parker admits that he was surprised that Ruiz Jr. (33-1, 22 KOs) was able to defeat IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs).
It was an unexpected victory for Ruiz in Parker’s mind, as Joshua had beaten him by a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision last year in March 2018 in Cardiff, Wales. Less than three years ago, Parker became the only fighter to defeat Ruiz Jr. by edging him by a 12 round majority decision in Auckland, New Zealand. However, a lot of boxing fans have since labeled Parker’s win over Ruiz as a textbook example of a hometown gift decision. Some fans had Ruiz winning by 10 rounds to 2. It looked like an even more lopsided win for Ruiz than Joshua’s victory over Parker.
Ruiz Jr. had a point to prove says Parker
“I think a lot of people underestimated him. He came out with a point to prove,” said Parker to Fighthype about Ruiz’s seventh round knockout win over Joshua. “He came out firing. He knew he would come out to take a few shots in order to land his own shots. He’s got great hand speed, great pressure. He was doing everything right. I think he was following the plan what his team had.”
“For me, he put on a great performance against someone who is a knockout puncher, and is a beast in the ring, Joshua himself,” said Parker in putting Joshua on a pedestal. “All credit to Andy; he put on a great performance. He made history being the first Mexican heavyweight champion of the world. Credit to him and his team,” said Parker.
Parker showed no intensity or aggressiveness in any any way, shape or form in his loss to Joshua last year. Unfortunately, Parker, 27, was fighting two people in the ring that night; Joshua and the referee. Showing little in the way of courage, Parker wasn’t willing to attack in the way that he needed to for him to have a chance of winning the fight. Parker passively let the referee pull him away from Joshua each time he would try and attack. It was a weak effort by Parker, and it furthered the belief that a lot of fans have about him lacking heart. Parker didn’t show that he had the fire in him to win, so he ended up losing badly to AJ. We saw the same thing from Parker in his loss to Dillian Whyte last July in London, England. Parker let Whyte rough him up, and dominate him through most of the fight.
Parker: Ruiz is a different fighter now compared to 2016
Joseph thinks Ruiz Jr. is a different fighter now compared to the guy that he defeated in 2016. He’s a different fighter now, says Parker. Joseph says he wants to fight Ruiz in a rematch, but he understands that fight can’t happen yet. Joshua has triggered his rematch clause in his contract with Ruiz, so those two will fight again. Parker would like to fight Ruiz Jr. after he faces Joshua again.
“It was a little surprising the way that he [Ruiz] was able to catch him [Joshua] so many times, and how he was able to let his hands go and get in close, but we weren’t surprised that he won,” said Parker. “We knew he had the ability to put on a great performance, and the ability to walk him down and land the punches he needed to throw in the end. We were a little surprised. When I beat him in 2016, it was a good victory for me,” said Parker about his controversial victory over Ruiz in New Zealand in 2016.
“Ruiz is a different fighter now, and I’m a different fighter now. So it’ll be good for us to get in the ring again, and have a fight in the future. But I know there’s a rematch clause in the contract for Joshua, and I’m sure Joshua is interested in getting those belts back.”
Matchroom Boxing USA promoter Eddie Hearn would like nothing better than for Ruiz Jr. to fight Parker after his rematch with Joshua, provided that he loses to AJ. If Joshua gets beaten by Ruiz in the rematch, Hearn might be crazy enough to spin the wheel a third time to go for another rematch with Ruiz. It would be forlorn at that point, but it would be predictable for Joshua to make a third fight. You’d have to feel sorry for Joshua, because he would need someone to save him from himself.
Losing twice to Ruiz would be disastrous to Joshua career, but getting beaten three times in a row to the American, it would be game over for AJ. Hearn is like a riverboat gambler, and he’ll probably enable Joshua by talking him into taking a third fight with Ruiz, but it would be a foolish move. It would be similar to the mistake we saw David Price make in 2013 when he fought Tony Thompson twice in a row and suffered consecutive knockout losses. Price’s career has never been the same since. Joshua is about to become Price 2.0. At least with Price, he didn’t dare fight Thompson a third time. Joshua is someone that likely take a third, fourth and fifth fight to Ruiz, and lose every time.
Parker gives himself credit for his controversial win over Ruiz
“Being intelligent, and sort of dodging the punches,” Parker said in explaining how he beat Ruiz. “He’s got heavy hands. I think ultimately, I wasn’t able to throw enough punches, and get to Joshua,” said Parker in explaining why he lost to Joshua in 2018. “Against Ruiz, I was able to pick him off, and throw the combinations I needed to throw, but not get in the danger zone. When you get in close, he’s very dangerous. His hands are a lot faster in close. He wants to fight on your chest, and that’s when he’s able to release his combinations with his fast hands,” said Parker.
In re-watching the Parker vs. Ruiz Jr. fight, it looked embarrassingly one-sided with Ruiz winning almost every round but two. Again, the fight took place in Parker’s home country of New Zealand, so the it’s not all that surprising that the judges gave him the win. Ruiz got the better of Parker in practically every exchange in the fight. Parker was too slow, lethargic an over-matched against the fast, more talented Ruiz. The scoring was so awful. It’s hard to imagine a fight that one-sided being scored the way it was by the three judges assigned to the fight. To this day, Parker is seen as the loser of the fight by the many fans that saw the fight.
Parker challenges Ruiz to fight him again
“If he wants to prove that he won the first fight…if he want to prove it, then we’re here to accept any challenge at any time. You’ll have to wait and see. Let’s make the fight [Parker vs. Ruiz] happen. We’re focusing on our fight on June 29 in Rhode Island. I’m very excited to be fighting for Matchroom, and in the U.S,” said Parker.
It’s a waste of time for Ruiz to fight Parker again. He’s not popular in the United States, and he’s lost 2 out of his last 3 fights. Ruiz has nothing to gain in fighting a guy with a 1-2 record in his last three fights. If Parker can turn his sagging career around by beating some notable fighters, then maybe it would be worthwhile for Ruiz to fight him again.
The Ruiz vs. Parker rematch would obviously need to take place in Southern California. Ruiz has already been burned once fighting Parker in New Zealand. He’s not going to go back there and have to potentially deal with the same type of scoring by the judges as last time he fought Parker there. Parker needs to try and avenge his losses to Joshua and Whyte before he calls out Ruiz. It looks bad that Parker is trying to ask for a world title shot with him having lost two out of his last three fights. Parker’s career has imploded, and he’s for a world title shot. There’s something wrong with this picture. Ruiz would be better off fighting more popular guys like Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury rather than facing Parker in a fight that few boxing fans want to see.